There’s a very important day coming up soon that, in my totally unbiased opinion, requires some special plans: Mother’s Day! Whether you prefer to coordinate your own celebration or enjoy made-just-for-the-day events, this round-up has plenty of ideas to help make the occasion wonderful for all the honorees.
If Mom Hearts Art
Where: Local Museums in DC
Admission: Varies by museum
See some art that mom will enjoy, perhaps something that’s not on the usual kid museum circuit, and pair it with a family-friendly brunch nearby. Check out the No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man exhibit at the Renwick then head to Woodward Table. Visit the National Museum of Women in the Arts then enjoy a meal at Momofuku. Or go see the Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle then dine at Firefly.
Savor the Day
Where: Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard | Davidson, MD
Head to the vineyard for an afternoon of wine, food, and live music. There’s no official Mother’s Day event, but a day at the vineyard is a perfect balance of kid and grown-up fun. Sugarloaf welcomes children to join adults at the winery and even has a designated Play Area. Bring along a picnic, enjoy the lovely scenery, and maybe do some hiking nearby. Be sure to savor the house specialty, of course — I highly recommend the rosé! Read more about Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, in this KFDC post.
A Day with the (First) First Lady
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: May 12-13
Admission: $18/adult, $9/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under
Join the Mother of our Country, Martha Washington, for special Mother’s Day activities at Mount Vernon, her digs with George back in the day. Stroll through the magnificent gardens in bloom and enjoy a tour of the mansion grounds through the eyes of Patty Peters, Martha’s granddaughter. Moms will also receive a lavender sachet from Lady Washington while supplies last. Note: The above admission prices are online rates; they are slightly more at the door.
Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: Through September 17
Admission: $8/adult, $5/child
Celebrate the day in a beautiful place with an activity the whole family will enjoy. At the the wonderful Wings of Fancy exhibit, walk amid a garden of butterflies in the annual display of live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world. It’s a guaranteed delight for all ages. Stay to explore the rest of Brookside’s lovely grounds and be sure make time to play in the adorable Children’s Garden. View scenes from the exhibit in this KFDC post and read even more about it in this one.
Do Some Garden-ing
Where: Throughout the DMV
Admission: Varies by locale
Instead of bringing flowers to mom, take her to them instead! With the bloom season upon us, and landscapes bursting with color, a visit to a garden makes for a lovely outing, especially when there’s often more to do than just look at the plants and flowers. Stroll among the many multi-tiered plats at Dumbarton Oaks. Explore, play, and see the amazing azalea bloom at the National Arboretum. Wander around Green Spring Gardens on a scavenger hunt. Venture out to the gorgeous Meadowlark Botanical Garden. Relish in the peace at the Brookland Monastery. Or stop and smell the roses (and more) at the U.S. Botanic Garden. You can bring along a picnic to many of these places and make it a whole day’s outing.
Family Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: May 13, 11am
Admission: $19.50/adult, $17.50/child
For moms who love some sleuthing (a penchant for Harry Potter helps, too), the next Wizard School Scavenger Hunt by Watson Adventures happens to fall on Mother’s Day. The fun, unique activity for families has you on a mission competing against other teams to find art that echoes characters, places, and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies, with the help of clever Harry Potter-themed clues. Spots are still left in the 11am session. And while the website says it’s for ages 10 and up, kids younger than that definitely can partake, too! This KFDC post has more about this awesome adventure.
Brunch & Bowl
Where: Pinstripes | Georgetown, DC
When: May 13
Admission: $36/adult, $15/ages 5-12, free/under 5
Dine and play on Mother’s Day! Treat mom to an expansive bottomless brunch fit for a queen with favorites like made-to-order omelets, carved prime rib and fresh shrimp, bagels with spreads and smoked salmon, and so much more. Moms will be especially encouraged to sit back and relax with mimosas and bloody Mary’s as the kids are taken care of at the ‘Kids Corner’ station with pizzas, chicken fingers, Mac and cheese and more. Stay for some family bowling (or bocce) after — be sure to reserve a lane in advance to ensure you get game time. And note that bowling costs extra. Read more about Pinstripes in this KFDC post.
Free in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: May 13
Admission: $12-56, free for Mom
For adventurous moms who love the outdoors, particular being in the trees, an afternoon in the aerial adventure forest of the Adventure Park at Sandy Springs is the perfect way to spend the day — especially when mom’s admission is on them. Buy one ticket and get her ticket free using the promo code MOM18. (FYI: This is one of my very favorite adventures in the area — read more about it here and here.)
A (Crab) Feast Fit for a Queen
Where: Eastern Shore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Depends on how much you order!
Take advantage of the start of blue crab season to celebrate! And you really can’t beat a feast of the steamed Old Bay-spiced creature at a waterfront crab house on a nice day. Cantler’s in Annapolis is an institution, and Mike’s Crab House in Riva is also popular with delicious crabs, gorgeous scenery, and a great outdoor waiting area if tables aren’t immediately available. Last year, we had a super Mother’s Day at Kentmorr’s restaurant and beach scene. Keep it closer to home (but forego the waterfront) at Quarterdeck, Ivy City Smokehouse, and Bethesda Crab House. Wherever you go, make reservations, because special occasion days guarantee crowds.
Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
Admission: Varies by locale
Take a hike as you celebrate. See flowers in bloom, tramp in places with scenic views, walk and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. Bring along a picnic for lunch al fresco, too. A particular favorite for a special day is the hike from Riverbend Park to Great Falls. The wetlands at Huntley Meadows offer a nice hike and great views. Pohick Bay Regional Park and Prince William Forest Park are both great places to walk in the woods, too. A day trip to Harpers Ferry also makes a great outing. And this go-to KFDC post has even more recommendations for good places for the whole family to hit the trail.
Mother’s Day on the Patuxent
Where: Solomons Island, MD
When: Mother’s Day weekend (or anytime)
Admission: Rates vary by boat & time
This was a really great way we celebrated Mother’s Day with friends a few years ago. A pontoon boat outing on the Patuxent River was a super fun and relaxing time for all. Pack a cooler, don the swimsuits, slather on sunscreen, and get ready for a fantastic day on the water. Afterwards, treat yourselves to ice cream on Solomon’s Island or even stay for dinner at one of the many waterside restaurants there.
Go with the Flow
Where: Throughout the DMV
Admission: Varies by locale
For other Mother’s Day adventures on the water, a bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and stand up paddleboards. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go and has a great riverside area to hang out and picnic when you’re off the water. You can also row from Ballpark Boathouse then picnic and play at Yards Park. We spent a wonderful Mother’s Day a couple of years ago at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis — with lots of options for outdoor recreation along with paddling, it’s particularly awesome. This post has a round-up of even more places to navigate the local waterways.
Mother’s Love Treasure Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Throughout May
Think with your heart and feel with your mind as you search through themed rooms and behind secret doors. The folks at O Mansion will never ruin the surprise of finding a secret door by giving you a map, so be sure to keep your eyes open. If you find two secret doors you are an above average sleuth! There are easy clues and hard clues on this treasure hunt — but everyone is sure to have fun. You can also enjoy a special brunch on Mother’s Day, May 13 ($85/person). Get a glimpse and read more about the Mansion on O in this KFDC post.
Up in the Air
Where: Preakness Balloon Festival | West Friendship, MD
When: May 11-13
Admission: Free, but parking is $20/vehicle
If you really want to splurge and do something extra cool, book mom on a hot air balloon ride at the annual Preakness Balloon Festival. You can also just go and enjoy the view of them floating above along with fun festivities on ground. With over 25 hot air balloons, tethered balloon rides, a large kid zone, a beer and wine garden, Maryland’s finest vendors, the Baltimore area’s best food, a balloon glow after dusk, and live music, mom is practically guaranteed an awesome day. Free Flight balloon rides start at $250. Though for $150, you can take a tethered balloon ride and renew your vows! 🙂